Best 22LR or .17 For The Money

Discussion in '.22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion' started by rifleman55, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    As a retired gunsmith (I know, big deal), I've had the pleasure of working on many brands and models of rifles.

    For a rimfire bolt action, in my opinion, the best rimfire available is the Savage.
    If you look at their web site, they are offering more variations of models than any othe manufacturer.
    Savage has increased their quality far more than any other manufacturer. Yes, you may get one with a problem every now and then, but most work perfect right out of the box.

    It's rare to find one that won't shoot less the 1/2" 5 shot groups @ 50 yards, most shoot tigher groups with the right ammo.

    If your looking to save $$$, get the heavy barreled one with the accutrigger and synthetic stock, you can upgrade later.

    I bought a BRJ and it shot in the low .4''s right out of the box.
    I had my gunsmith accurize it and it now shoots in the .1"'s with Wolf match.

    The accuracy potential, the quality and shear numbers of different models makes the Savage well worth considering.

    The only thing I didn't like about mine was that the bottom metal was too thin. It can be replaced with aftermarket bottom metal for a very reasonable price.

    They are great looking, accurite, great quality and shoot like most guns in their price range only wish they could.

    This is just my opinion, but I look down further than the skin of a rifle, know a great design and great workmanship for a production rifle.
    I think they are the best value for the money. People have been shooting extreamly good groups with them and it's rare to have a problem with one.
    Years ago, Savage was the cheap rifle that you only bought if you were strapped for cash. Times have changed, Savage has taken a major undertaking to be the best for the money, new CNC equipment and hand fitting.
    I just got back seriously into rimfire shooting about 6 months ago, wanted a rifle I could afford and did a lot of looking. The Savage has met the bill for me in every way.
    Their CF rifles are fantastic also.

    Just my 2 cents, John K
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    John, that was a rational, well spoken thread, based on sound reasoning.

    Someone will beat you to a frazzle if you keep doing that. :p

    Seriously, I have been greatly impressed with the the Savage in 17 HMR I got this year. Out of the box, an impressive little rifle. However, having said that, it would not be the BEST rifle for every chore. GREAT little rifle for the bench rest, it would quickly become a boat anchor for a stroll in the woods popping squirrels. That sucker is HEAVY! I have .308s that weigh less- for standing offhand shots on cottontails, would chose one of my less accurate but lighter and handier .22s. For the 50 or 100 yd target line, will run with some of the very high dollar Euro rifles.

  3. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

    I agree 100%. A few years ago I started shopping for a rimfire gun in an attempt to get more trigger time and practice shooting skills. After a bunch of research, the Savage series rose to the top of the list. Many reviews just like yours, from people with nothing to gain from the praise, prompted me to give the 93 a shot. Sure enough, mine shoots as accurate and the ammo and I can. A great addition to the safe, and is a great tool for helping new shooters.
  4. Eric0424

    Eric0424 New Member

    For the price it's hard to beat the Marlin and Savage rimfires, and Marlin is soon to release the XT series which adds an adjustable trigger to their rimfire line. I believe it's the same or similar to the trigger they're using on the Marlin centerfire rifle and look like the Savage Accu-Triger.
  5. jyo

    jyo New Member


    No matter how many guns you own, you should have at least one Ruger 10-22!
  6. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    Can't disagree, only problem is you start adding parts to get better accuracy and before you know it you have spent twice what a Savage costs and a tuned Savage like mine, shooting in the .1"'s, you are going to have to spend a lot money and still won't have a rifle that shoots as well. I know there are some darn good shooting 10-22's out there, but the cost to get them that way just doesn't make sense.
    A bolt gun is usually more accurate than a semi auto.

    I sure spent more than I wanted on the wife's 10-22, it's a shooter, but won't shoot with the Savage. I've got about $750. in it including the cost of the rifle, started out as a Carbine.

    Very nice rifles and as one said, the Savage can be a little heavy for hunting, the 10-22 is ligher as long as you stay away from the bull barrels or get a lightweight one.

    I'm not real happy with Ruger right now after some real problems with them and my Mini 14. Won't buy another Ruger. Of course you can build an entire 10-22 and not use but a few Ruger parts if any :p

    My Best, John K
  7. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member


    Why? I may not agree w/ the Savage 100%, but I do disagree w/ this statement. A 10/22?? Seriously?? It can't compare w/ out of the box accuracy that is delivered by almost every other .22 made past or present. I bought a Marlin 917V on my last "need" purchase. It was $90.00 cheaper then the Savage and is still a tack driver. A good .22lr bolt gun is a necessity for any serious shooter.
  8. aandabooks

    aandabooks Active Member

    I don't have a 10/22 but have been thinking about it. I can't wrap my mind around spending all that extra to make it a shooter. A buddy used to have on and it was a fun gun. Seems to me now that we wasted a lot of ammo firing out of a 30rd mag as fast as we could pull the trigger.

    I did just add a Savage BV to the .22 collection. It will go nicely with its 5 other brothers. At $300 with accutrigger, bull barrel and laminate stock it seemed like a good deal to me. Just got to decide on a scope now.
  9. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

    I'm stealing that...
  10. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member


    Nope, at least one Marlin 60 or 795.
    Either will beat a 1022 straight outta the box :)

    There's a reason Marlin 60's have sold 12 million, and Ruger 1022 is still around 7 million ;)
  11. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    you dont have to spend anything on it other than ammo. they are damn fine shooters straight out of the box.
  12. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    The reason I like the Savage is the price and the accuracy.
    New out of the box, before putting any amount of rounds through it (they almost always shoot better after a brick's worth of ammo is shot through them), it shot 5 shot groups @ 50 in the low .4"'s.

    I had Scott at Savagegunsmithing do an accuracy job on it and it now shoots in the .1"'s on a good day when I do my part.

    You would have to spend a bunch more money to get a 22 LR that shoots better than that, and no Ruger 10-22 will shoot that well without spending a boat load of money on it.

    In my opinion, the Savage is by far the best value for a lower priced rifle that is accurate and consistant. It's not perfect, but I don't have the $$$ for an Annie and it gives you a great gun to practice with. As long as you are going to practice with a 22, it might as well shoot nice small groups.
    It is much more satisfifying to see one small hole than just rounds in a semi tight group.

    After the accurizing, the trigger breaks clean as glass at 10 OZ, that's a big help in getting good groups. I never thought an accu trigger could be made so nice, but it is.

    I also like the veriety of rifles available from Savage. My next one will be the new model with the 16 1/4" threaded barrel. I want to see if the shorter barrel, being a little stiffer will decrease group size and don't have to pay to have it threaded. Trying some different supressors/brakes may also help with the accuracy. One of those things you don't know until you try.
    I'll put it in a Boyds Tacticool stock. Shoud be a great shooter.

    Just my 2 cents. The Marlins are nice rifles also, but I think the Savage has more potential to be a better shooter.

    John K
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  13. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    I believe the Savage 17 probably is a good rifle. But I have to agree with Mr.P.
    A couple of years ago I purchased a Marlin 917-V (Heavy Barrel) and it is and was a tack driver. I even improved it some by putting a Rifle Basix Trigger in it adjusted to 2.5 Lbs. As I have stated in previous posts. I have many other rifles of all calibers and enjoy shooting the little 17HMR 917-V as well as any. It is a blast shooting crows and the like! 2500 FPS. They are falling almost before you hear the report of the rifle is seems.

  14. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

    Rifleman is that thing shooting 5 shot groups at 50 yards that are .10 of an inch, man you got yourself a record maker there, what does it do at 100?
  15. MrMilspecer

    MrMilspecer New Member

    CZ 452s Best .22s for the money ive ever shot.
  16. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

    Had a 93R17 BTV a couple years back. I could shoot the wings off a fly at 50 yards with that thing. Decided to sell it for funds for a new firearm. Best part is I was able to sell it LNIB for more than I paid NIB :p.
  17. jca1

    jca1 New Member

    I own a Marlin .17HMR and will soon own a Marlin .17mach2

    I own a Ruger10/22 and a Marlin 60 .22.

    The Ruger is nice, but I love the Marlins.

    Now just curios, honestly. From the OP's opening post, why would a retired gunsmith have a gunsmith work on their guns? Liability, no more tools, ?
  18. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    Due to the snow, I have not had a chance to shoot at 100 yds yet (no ranges here and the ammo does not do it's best when the temps are low), will be doing so this summer.
    I'm very interested to see what it will do at 100. It's just a little harder at 100 ;)
    I'll let you know when I get some trigger time at 100, I really can't wait.
    One thing is for sure, the groups will be larger than .2", can't just hope to double the best it's shot at 50.

    John K
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  19. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    The 10-22 and a Savage or Marlin bolt gun is kind of like comparing apples to oranges. Two different types of actions, semi auto vs. bolt. The bolt is going to be more accurate just by design.
    10-22's are fun, but people put outragious amounts of money into them to get small groups. It's their money and if that's what they want to do, more power to them.
    Maybe I should have made the post that I think Savage is the best Bolt Gun for the money.
    I'm not forgetting you guys with the Marlins, darn fine rifles also.
    I'm really looking hard at the Remington VTR Tac style rifle just for fun also. Great shooter at a good price. It was the most accurite of the 22 tac style
    semi auto's for less money than most of the others. Better than the Sig and Colt, Ruger too. Were I to get another semi aut, that would be it.

    Even though the Marlins are darn fine bolt .22's, I'll most likely stick with the Savage, as I know exactly what it takes to really make one shoot.

    It's always good to hear others opinions. In the end, it's the rifle you like the best, not what I or somene else finds to be the best for them.

    The 22's seem to be selling so well as they cost less to shoot, I'm hopeing for more accessories, stocks etc for others besides the 10-22.

    As for the scope in the post highlighted, for a lower priced but great scope, look at the Mueller APV 4 X 14 X 40 AO, fantastic scope for the price. Next step up for target shooting would be the 8 X 32 X 40 Mueller. It has a really fine retical, great for target work, Has side focus, after that for target, I'd go with the Weaver Target 36X with the fine retical, fantastic scope for punching paper, best value for the money in it's price range.
    For general target, hunting, plinking, I think the Mueller APV is darn hard to beat.
    Whatever scope you get, make sure it's an AO scope and don't go too cheap, the shortcomings of a cheap scope become apparent the first time you go out to shoot with it. The Mueller will be a very pleasing scope. It's not a $700 to $1500 scope quality, but at $130delivered, it the best deal for the money in my opinion. I've owned all three of the scopes I've just talked about.
    I now have a Millet New Generation 4 X 16 X 56 fine retical on my Savage and really am quite pleased with it also.
    I sometimes miss the APV. I'll put one on my next .22

    John K
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  20. Eric0424

    Eric0424 New Member

    The price for the CZ's is a little high but they're some of the best looking, well crafted and finished rifles you can buy. Really thinking about adding a 452 Varmint in 17HMR to my small collection.

    I bought my Marlin 917V and a Bushnell 4-12x40 AO scope in 2006 and put the same Rifle Basix trigger in it about six months later, I have it right at 2-lbs now. Bought a Boyds' Nutmeg thumb-hole stock in October of 2009 and I just recently replaced the Bushnell with a 6-24x44 BSA Catseye.

    I also have the Boyds' SS Evolution for my 917V so my brother and a couple of friends can shoot it left-handed.

    The Savage Accu-Trigger is nice, the one on my 110 is set at 2 1/2-lbs, but it's just not a crisp as the Rifle Basix set-up.

    You should check out Boyds' Gun Stocks and DIP, both are producing items for the Marlin 60/795 and Marlin bolt actions. The Marlin 60 Boyds' stocks are a once or twice a year run it seems, but the DIP accessories are almost always available. The 900 series stocks are something Boyds' will try to keep in stock, they carry the Tacticool, thumb-hole and the SS Evolution for the bolt actions. I hope the new XT series from Marlin doesn't change the stock inlet too much so these stocks can be fitted to the new adjustable trigger Marlin rimfires.

    I have a few Boyds' stocks and some of the DIP parts for my Model 60. However, the most significant improvement to it was the 20-30 minutes I spent working the sear with an ultra-fine Norton stone. Got the trigger pull right at 3-lbs now with a nice clean break.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011